Traditionally, the government used to take care of building the country’s infrastructure, but it turned out that the government’s investment in infrastructure wasn’t enough. Nowadays, the private sector, on its own and working together with the government, is playing a big role in developing infrastructure.

Even though everyone knows that infrastructure is crucial for development, India only spends 8% of its GDP on it. In comparison, China spends 20%, and Indonesia spends 14% of its GDP on infrastructure.

Most people in India live in rural areas, and rural infrastructure has six parts:

  • Rural housing
  • Irrigation potential
  • Drinking water
  • Rural roads
  • Electrification
  • Rural telephony

Here’s how rural infrastructure is in India:

  • Rural women still use things like crop leftovers, dung, and wood for energy.
  • They have to walk long distances to get fuel, water, and other basic things.
  • In rural India, only 60% of households have electricity, and 40% still use kerosene. About 80% use bio-fuels for cooking.
  • Not many rural households have access to tap water; it’s only 24%.
  • According to a study in 2011, almost 86% of people in rural areas had better sanitation facilities.


Energy is super important for a country’s development. We need it for industries, farming, and moving finished goods around. It’s also what we use at home for things like cooking, lighting, and staying warm.

9.4.1 Sources of Energy

Energy comes from two main places:

  • Commercial Source of Energy: This includes things like coal, petroleum, and electricity because you can buy and sell them. In India, more than half of all the energy we use comes from these sources.
  • Non-commercial Source of Energy: This is stuff like firewood, agricultural waste, and dried dung. They are called non-commercial because you find them in nature, like in forests. While commercial sources can run out (except for hydropower), non-commercial sources can be renewed. Over 60% of Indian households use traditional sources like these for their everyday cooking and heating.

The difference between commercial and non-commercial sources of energy is given in Table 9.2 

Table 9.2 Difference between Commercial and Non-commercial Sources of Energy

Commercial SourcesNon-commercial Sources
1. They command a price and the users have to pay a price for them.2. They are generally exhaustible except hydel power.3. Mostly used in production process.4. Examples: coal, petroleum and electricity.1. They are free and command no price.2. They are renewable.3. Mostly used for domestic purposes.4. Examples: vegetable wastes, firewood and dried dung.

Conventional and Non-conventional Sources of Energy

There are two main types of energy sources: conventional and non-conventional.

Conventional sources include things like natural gas, coal, and petroleum. Let’s talk a bit about them:

  • Coal: Coal is a big deal when it comes to energy. It’s cool because we can turn it into other types of energy like electricity, gas, and oil. Right now, in India, about 67% of our energy comes from coal.
  • Oil and Gas: This includes stuff like petroleum and natural gas. Petroleum is essential for energy in India, but we don’t produce enough. It covers less than 30% of what the country needs. So, we end up importing a lot of crude oil, and that can put a strain on the country’s money balance.
    Natural gas is another energy source. It’s used to make things like fertilizer and petroleum products. We also use it for cooking (like in LPG) at home and in transportation.
  • Electricity: Electricity is super handy in India. We get it from three main sources: thermal power stations, hydroelectricity stations, and atomic power stations.

Non-conventional sources of energy are different; they come from renewable resources like biomass, solar energy, wind energy, tidal energy, and more.

The difference between conventional and non-conventional sources of energy is given in Table 9.3

Table 9.3 Difference between Conventional and Non-conventional Sources of Energy

Conventional Sources1. These are being used since very long as different sources of commercial energy.Non-conventional Sources1. These are being used as different sources of energy to a very little extent. There is an effort to develop them as sources of commercial energy.
2. This source is being used in total disregard to our environment.2. They help to check pollution.
3. Examples: coal, petroleum and electricity.3. Examples: solar energy, wind energy, biomass, tidal energy, etc.

Let’s talk about a few different sources of energy that are a bit different from the usual ones:

1. Tidal Energy

  • Inexhaustible Source: Tidal energy comes from the movement of tides, and it’s considered a source that won’t run out.
  • Great Potential: There’s a lot of energy in this system, thanks to how the solar system moves things around. This means it could be a big player in the future for generating power and electricity.
  • Cost Challenge: Setting up tidal power projects can be expensive at the beginning, and it might take a while before the investment pays off. This makes some investors hesitant.
  • Government Support: To encourage more projects generating tidal energy, the government could step in and provide financial support.

2. Solar Energy

  • Lots of Sunshine: India gets a ton of sunlight—5000 trillion kwh every year! Most parts of the country have around 300 sunny days each year. This means we can generate a good amount of solar power—about 20 MW per square kilometer of land.
  • Many Uses: Solar energy is versatile. We use it for heating water, cooking, lighting, and in agriculture and industry.
  • Clean and Low Maintenance: Solar energy is clean—no pollution. And it doesn’t need a lot of maintenance, making it an economical choice.

3. Wind Energy

  • Old and New: Wind energy has been used in the past with windmills, mostly for things like irrigation and small-scale farming.
  • Low Maintenance: Wind energy doesn’t cost much to maintain, making it a budget-friendly option.

Objective Type Questions

1.What has changed in the approach to infrastructure development, as mentioned in the passage?
A) Increased government investment
B) Sole reliance on the private sector
C) Collaboration between the government and private sector
D) Decreased importance of infrastructure
Answer: C) Collaboration between the government and private sector

  1. What percentage of its GDP does India spend on infrastructure, as per the information provided?
    A) 8%
    B) 14%
    C) 20%
    D) 60%
    Answer: A) 8%
  2. Which of the following is NOT a part of rural infrastructure in India?
    A) Rural housing
    B) Electrification
    C) Urban telephony
    D) Drinking water
    Answer: C) Urban telephony
  3. What percentage of rural households in India still uses kerosene for lighting?
    A) 20%
    B) 40%
    C) 60%
    D) 80%
    Answer: B) 40%
  4. According to the passage, what percentage of rural households in India has access to tap water?
    A) 24%
    B) 40%
    C) 60%
    D) 80%
    Answer: A) 24%
  5. What is the primary purpose of energy in a country’s development, according to the passage?
    A) Home decoration
    B) Industrial development
    C) Agricultural aesthetics
    D) Consumer electronics
    Answer: B) Industrial development
  6. Which of the following is considered a conventional source of energy?
    A) Solar energy
    B) Wind energy
    C) Tidal energy
    D) Coal
    Answer: D) Coal
  7. What is a challenge mentioned in setting up tidal power projects, according to the passage?
    A) Inexhaustible source
    B) Great potential
    C) Costliness at the beginning
    D) Government support
    Answer: C) Costliness at the beginning
  8. How much solar power can India generate per square kilometer of land, as per the information provided?
    A) 5 MW
    B) 10 MW
    C) 15 MW
    D) 20 MW
    Answer: D) 20 MW
  9. What is mentioned as a benefit of wind energy, as discussed in the passage?
    A) High maintenance cost
    B) Economic challenges
    C) Low maintenance cost
    D) Limited potential
    Answer: C) Low maintenance cost

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *